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#preptalkpreseason kicks off with start of practice: Visits with OP, Sweet Home & Canisius (with video)

Sweet Home goes through a drill to start its afternoon session. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
By Keith McShea

Welcome to the first day of the 2013-14 high school sports season. Today is the first day that fall season teams can practice throughout the state. For football teams, which have held workouts and passing leagues throughout the summer, the preparation begins today for Week One (Sept. 6-7).

At Canisius, a most notable transfer will not be on the field today. TJ Wheatley, the junior standout who I wrote about in Sunday's paper, is out with what the coaching staff is calling -- get ready hockey fans -- an "upper body injury." The team says it has not been authorized by Wheatley's family to disclose the specific injury. 

Wheatley is listed as day-to-day. The team is hopeful it will have him in the opening-night lineup at Rochester's McQuaid on Friday, Sept. 6.

Wheatley participated in passing leagues with Canisius this summer. Once the injury was diagnosed it was determined that it occurred back at the Sound Mind/Sound Body camp in Michigan in June, which was prior to the Wheatleys' decision to attend Canisius.

UPDATE: Wheatley has been CLEARED. 

Continue reading "#preptalkpreseason kicks off with start of practice: Visits with OP, Sweet Home & Canisius (with video)" »

Canisius' Ollison will make official visits to Pitt, Wisconsin

By Keith McShea

Qadree Ollison said Saturday he will make official visits this fall to Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. 

He made the comments during an appearance on WGR 550-AM's "Inside High School Sports" broadcast.

Ollison trimmed his list of 15 Division I suitors to five in June. Joining Pitt and Wisconsin as finalists were Rutgers, Penn State and Syracuse.

Ollison has said he will make his college decision in the week prior to the Crusaders' season opener at McQuaid on Friday, Sept. 6.

Canisius' Matt MacDonald signs with Farleigh Dickinson

By Keith McShea

Recent Canisius graduate Matt MacDonald signed a Division I basketball scholarship with Farleigh Dickinson today, according to a tweet from Crusaders coach Kyle Husband. 

MacDonald was a third-team All-Western New York selection this past season. He averaged 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists to help the Crusaders win their third straight Manhattan Cup.

Continue reading "Canisius' Matt MacDonald signs with Farleigh Dickinson" »

Canisius' Ollison trims list of colleges to five: Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse & Wisconsin

By Keith McShea

Canisius' Qadree Ollison, who will be a senior this fall, trimmed his list of potential college destinations to five today via Twitter. 



A total of 15 Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools offered scholarships to Ollison: Penn State, Temple, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Cincinnati, Boston College, Rutgers, Connecticut, Nevada and the University at Buffalo.

Ollison's plan, according to Canisius football sources, is to verbally commit to a school on Sept. 4, two days prior to Canisius' season-opening game at McQuaid of Rochester. 

Ollison was selected (along with graduated senior Ryan Hunter) as The Buffalo News Player of the Year last season after he ran for a school-record 1,876 yards on 240 carries in the Crusaders' 11-0 season. 

The Niagara Falls native’s 25 rushing touchdowns were a school record, as were his 26 total touchdowns. With career totals of 2,679 yards and 35 total touchdowns, the junior is also now 401 yards and four touchdowns away from the Canisius records in both of those categories.

Canisius' Adam Weir getting accustomed to college game in summer workouts

Adam Weir
James P. McCoy / Buffalo News

By Aaron Mansfield


As part of a story on local high school graduates preparing for their first year of college basketball, The News sat down with Canisius High School grad and Canisius College forward Adam Weir today. Weir is one of four Western New Yorkers who will play Division I ball this winter; Jermaine Crumpton (Niagara Falls, Canisius College), La'Trice Hall (Sacred Heart, Hartford) and Cassie Oursler (Grand Island, Robert Morris) are the others.

Weir has been making quite a few adjustments to his game; he was a small forward and power forward in high school and will handle the two-guard position in college. He said he is focusing primarily on improving his ball-handling and defense this summer, which are the areas in which he has struggled most to keep up in summer practice. Today, he was running five-on-five at Canisius' Koessler Athletic Center.

"I'm willing to do whatever we need," Weir said. "If they need me to play this year, I'll be more than ready, and if not, I'll do whatever we need."

Continue reading "Canisius' Adam Weir getting accustomed to college game in summer workouts" »

Major football recruit Tyrone Wheatley Jr., and younger brother Terius, will attend Canisius High

By Keith McShea

The Canisius High School football team will have two major additions this fall. 

Tyrone Wheatley Jr., one of the most sought-after football recruits in the country, and his younger brother Terius, will play high school football at Canisius, The Buffalo News has learned.

It is one of the most significant arrivals in Western New York high school football history.

Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is a 6-feet-6, 250-pound defensive end and tight end who will be a junior this fall. He has already received scholarship offers from Alabama, Penn State, North Carolina, Syracuse and dad’s alma mater, Michigan.

Terius, who will be a sophomore, is a 5-11, 165-pound wide receiver and defensive back. 

Local high school fans have been awaiting the destination of the Wheatley brothers since their famous father, University of Michigan great and NFL standout running back Tyrone Wheatley, was hired as the Buffalo Bills running backs coach. Wheatley Sr. joined head coach Doug Marrone with the Bills after he was an assistant under Marrone at Syracuse University -- also as running backs coach. 

Photo credit:
Photo credit:
Both Wheatley brothers earned high marks at this past weekend's Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy in Southfield, Mich., this past weekend.

At the camp, a picture was taken of Tyrone Sr. and his two sons. In the picture, published at's "Go Blue Wolverine" site (as well as other sites), Tyrone Jr. is wearing a Canisius T-shirt.  

When Canisius football officials were asked about the picture, they confirmed to The Buffalo News that the Wheatleys had completed their registration paperwork and put down a deposit for the 2013-14 academic year. Canisius coach Rich Robbins was unavailable for comment. 

While living in the Syracuse area, the Wheatley brothers attended Fayetteville-Manlius.

This transfer is at least on the level of that of Chad Kelly, who moved back to Western New York with his family from Pennsylvania during his sophomore year before beginning his St. Joe's quarterbacking career as a junior. While Kelly (nephew of Bills Hall of Famer Jim) would go on to receive many big-time college offers before committing to Clemson, he did not have them prior to his junior season.

The Wheatley brothers might be on the field with Canisius as soon as Saturday, when the Crusaders are schedule to participate at Lancaster's 7-on-7 passing league camp.

The Wheatleys are the second high-profile transfer for Canisius heading into next season. Brad Zaffram, a first-team All-Western New York selection as a sophomore for Sweet Home this past season, announced he would be transferring to Canisius in May.

Today's Georgetown Cup opener moved to St. Joe's at 4:30

By Keith McShea

The Georgetown Cup opener between St. Joe's and Canisius, pushed back from Tuesday due to rain, will be played today at 4:30 p.m. at St Joe's because Coca-Cola Field is unplayable. 

Thursday's Game Two is scheduled for Coca-Cola Field at 4. 

A potential series-deciding Game Three in the Monsignor Martin Association's baseball championship is now scheduled for Saturday at 3 at Coca-Cola Field. 

Sweet Home football standout Zaffram transferring to Canisius HS

By Keith McShea

Brad Zaffram, a first-team All-Western New York football player for Sweet Home as a sophomore this past season, will transfer to Canisius next year. 

Zaffram tweeted the news this afternoon and confirmed his transfer to The News via Twitter direct message a few minutes ago. A Canisius football source has confirmed the transfer as well. 

The tweet, from his protected @BradZaffram account, read: "On my way to canisius to finalize it with a signature".

Sweet Home has won six straight Section VI Class A titles and advanced to the state championship game this year. Canisius won the Monsignor Martin Association title during an undefeated season and was the No. 1 large school in The News final poll.  

The 6-foot, 205-pound Zaffram had a tremendous season for the Panthers, especially during the postseason. He delivered hit after hit from his linebacker spot while he was an offensive weapon as well. 

Continue reading "Sweet Home football standout Zaffram transferring to Canisius HS" »

Canisius' White, East's Bryant are winning MVPs at Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star Classic

By Keith McShea

I was unable to cover it this year, but here is the rundown from Thursday night's Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star Classic at Niagara Falls. Both games featured impressive performances by Canisius guards, one graduating (Aaron White), and two seemingly poised to step up as they heads into their junior (LaTerrance Reed) and sophomore (Howard Washington) seasons.

Falls coach Sal Constantino reported that the Freshman/Sophomore game that tipped off the night was "the best game we've had since I have been involved" with the games.

The East beat the West, 95-91, in TRIPLE-overtime. "It was a tough game all the way through, and at the end of regulation and the OTs, kids kept hitting clutch shots," said Constantino.

East High sophomore Percy Bryant (22 points) and Canisius freshman Washington (16) led the winning East side while Canisius sophomore Reed had 30 for the West, including many clutch shots in the late going.

Freshman/Sophomore box score (full rosters here):

Continue reading "Canisius' White, East's Bryant are winning MVPs at Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star Classic" »

Live from the Far West Regionals & your #preptalkscores (with VIDEO of buzzer-beater that beat Olean)

By Keith McShea

Hello on one of the most meaningful days on this school year's Western New York high school sports calendar.

We'll be reporting live from Rochester's Blue Cross Arena, site of the Far West Regional round that determines berths in next week's state public school final four. Meanwhile, Canisius and St. Mary's will play for Catholic state titles at Fordham University. Here's a preview of today's boys hoop action.

Also today: Girls basketball regionals at Buffalo State and state semifinal boys hockey with Niagara-Wheatfield in action in Utica. 

I'll provide play-by-play updates from the boys regionals in the live blog below and I'll have periodic #preptalkscores updates via Twitter which will also appear in the blog. 

Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- as they will appear in the live blog as well. You can comment on these games or others. Every night, scoring update tweets (in any sport) are welcome to those on Twitter -- just use the #preptalkscores hashtag.

Check our scoreboard page for a complete schedule of tonight's games; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening.

Continue reading "Live from the Far West Regionals & your #preptalkscores (with VIDEO of buzzer-beater that beat Olean)" »

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN |